Stegman’s Old Boys kicked off their MRSL league match against St Croix Valley United in front of a large and partisan crowd, and the Blues tore into their opposition with as much glee as the fans did.
Almost too much glee, as the early going saw some spaces open at the back. Bryan Larson, playing in goal for the injured Ryan Horstman, was equal to the early challenges and, with center backs Derric Johnson and Ben Savitt in commanding form and new signing Adam Belz showing what all the fuss was about, built a stable platform for the Old Boys to attack from.
It was an attack-minded game.
Lance Farrell turned in a Man of the Match performance, pulling the strings in the center of the park with Iniesta-like assurance and vision.
He both created and scored the first goal. Belz headed a dangerous cross away and the ball was recovered by Paul Shanafelt who fed a simple pass to Farrell. Farrell made space with a cheeky turn and found the racing Graham Campbell on the right. The Blues worked the ball into the corner and held it up until dropping a cross precisely on the head of the on-rushing Farrell. Not ten minutes in and the first goal was scored.
The crowd roared their appreciate.
“It was a great goal” said General Manager Nick Sindt “it’s what he’s capable of and seemed to inspire him to Barney Stinson-like levels of awesomeness throughout the rest of the game.”
The Old Boys pressed throughout the half, but were stymied by stiff defensive resistance by the Wisconsin side.
Until the second half.
Attacking the Embankment, and with a vociferous crowd shouting its support and clearly rattling the visiting defenders, Stegman’s wasted no time in ripping apart the opposition. Campbell was a dervish of energy down the left, and made good work on a run to open space for new signing Mike Ozruh. Ozruh received the ball at the top of the box, gave a little shimmy to lose two markers, and emphatically blasted the ball into the side netting. A flowing, wonderful goal.
“Scoring in front of the Embankement was a career highlight” said Ozruh. “We have the greatest fans in the world.”
Shortly after it was Ilijas Zimic’s turn. Played in by Farrell, the big man showed a surprising touch of pace to ally with his power, blowing past a defender to rip a shot into the top corner.
The St Croix goalkeeper still had more to do. With the Whites dropping deep in an attempt to stop the bleeding, Steve Pomeroy stepped into the midfield and fired a screamer of a shot into the net from no less than 25 yards.
A fitting end to a fine performance on Free Beer Movement Night.
“We knew that we had the goals in us, we just hadn’t had the luck earlier this season” said Sindt. “Not that there was any luck about this result. The team played well and we deserved this. It made it easier to enjoy the beers after the game, winning like this. I’m rambling. I’ve had a lot of Surly…”